Monthly Archives: May 2016

Oz Torah: A Shavu’ot prelude.

A GREEK NAME FOR SHAVU’OT. In old Anglo-Jewry they didn’t use Hebrew names for festivals when they could use English. They knew of Passover more than Pesach, Tabernacles rather than Sukkot, New Year instead of Rosh HaShanah. They would have used an English name for Chanukah too if they could; …

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France-Israel not lovers/not friends?

If we can’t have France as a lover, can we at least have a genuine friend? French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says the decision to vote in favour of a UNESCO report that ignores any Jewish link to Jerusalem was a ‘mistake’. French President Francois Hollande says it was a …

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“Apartheid Israel” first female Nigerian officer.

Danny Brenner, in Israel Hayom writes: The Israel Defense Forces, more than any other organization, represents Israeli society. It is a melting pot that includes soldiers from all ethnic, religious and racial backgrounds, men and women, but even this human collage always has something new. For example, Israel’s first female …

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Into the Fray: Gaza: A port is no panacea for poverty

Gaza from the sea. Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.– Attributed to Albert Einstein Just when you thought that you could not possibly hear anything more preposterous on how to help resolve the conflict with the Palestinians, somehow someone …

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Oz Torah: Torah reading – B’har.

A PEAK OF INSIGHT. When the Israelites said “Na’aseh v’nishma”, “We will do and we shall hear”, they are seen by the sages (Shab. 88a/b) as on a peak of spiritual understanding. Metaphorically they ascended a mountain, echoing the title of this week’s reading, B’har (“On Mount Sinai”). Through “Na’aseh …

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Arlene in Israel: Sof Sof!

“Sof Sof!” means Finally! When last I wrote two days ago, I expected Lieberman to close on a coalition agreement with Likud within hours.  Instead it has taken days.  But as of this morning at 11 AM, the agreement was signed and it was a done deal. The holdup was …

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Arlene from Israel: Rights Spelt Clear.

  This is an old post I found of Arlene Kushner’s from before Jews Down Under was born.! Certainly a ‘keeper’ for all as it lays out the Jewish Rights to the land of Israel. —————————————— A different sort of posting here: legal and historical background that is essential to …

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Oscar Winner’s Jewish Compassion.

One of Judaism’s defining characteristics is Chesed – compassion – which is why traditionally Jews have been involved in philanthropic endeavours throughout the ages. “Chesed is a Hebrew word commonly translated as “loving-kindness,” “kindness” or “love.” Chesed is central to Jewish ethics and Jewish theology and is a common term …

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‘Peace’: A Deceptive and Dictatorial Word

After a long absence, “Peace” is back in the headlines – due, in large measure, to this week’s visit by the French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, trying to promote a new French initiative to somehow — by as yet unspecified means — resuscitate the moribund “peace process”.  Much-needed clarification Perversely planned …

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Saying Mazal Tov in Sign Language in Israel.

Saying Mazal Tov in Sign Language – 54 Deaf Students Gather From Across Israel Monday, May 16, 2016, was a very special day in the lives of 54 Deaf students from across Israel. Each one approaching their Bar or Bat Mitzvah, preparing to join a long line of generations before …

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Arlene from Israel: Reaching, Always.

“Reaching, Always”… for the good, and for strength.  Frequently a tough task. But…Wow! I begin today with a moving “only in Israel” story.  I had written in my last posting about the way in which comrades of a fallen soldier maintain an ongoing connection with his family.  I subsequently received …

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